Forget crawling out of bed and eating cornflakes while you’re still half-asleep – we should be breezing into the office at ten or even midday, an expert has suggested.
Dr Paul Kelley, a former headteacher and sleep researcher, says that workplaces should let workers start later – to make them more healthy and productive.
Dr Kelley – who allowed pupils to start at 10 – said, ‘Across the western world, adults are averaging 6 and a half hours sleep a night during their working lives, when science shows we need at least eight.’
Dr Kelley, author of Body Clocks, says that a start time of 10 would be fairest to everyone – and would cut back on the epidemic of sleep loss.
But he suggested in an interview with the Sunday Times that the ‘best’ time for some workers to start could be as late as midday, in an interview with the Sunday Times.
Dr Kelley said, ‘’Start times of 10am are the fairest (and best) if everyone had to choose a single start time. That would reduce sleep loss for the population as a whole.
‘This would have an immediate positive impact on current levels of adult sleep deprivation caused by early workday start times.
‘It would reduce sleep deprivation by 70 per cent to 36 minutes on average a day.’
The NHS advises avoiding distractions such as technology, winding down with a warm bath, and writing a to-do list for the next day.
Dr Jessica Alexander of the Sleep Council, a non-profit group which provides sleep advice says in an NHS guide to sleeping better, ‘A bedtime ritual teaches the brain to become familiar with sleep times and wake times.’
‘It programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine.’